16.09.2020 Business law

Anti-crisis shield also for foreign companies

Branches of foreign companies may apply for subsidies to salaries of employees hired in the territory of Poland according to a decision of the Warsaw Local Government Appeal Board.

Until now, the applications of branches of foreign companies for support in co-financing the employees’ salaries under the anti-crisis shield have been refused because according to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, subsidies were not due to entities operating in Poland in the form of a branch of a foreign company. According to the Ministry, the special act grants the right to subsidies to companies whose activities are regulated by the Entrepreneurs’ Act.

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The Warsaw Local Government Appeal Board did not agree with the above interpretation of the Ministry and held in its decision that branches of foreign enterprises which have employees in Poland are entrepreneurs under the Act – the Entrepreneurs’ Law, and thus they are entitled to receive subsidies from the anti-crisis shield to salaries of employees under downtime or reduced working hours or performing their duties normally, in regular working hours, if those companies have experienced a decline in economic turnover by at least 25% within a month or 15 percent in two consecutive months.

In support of its decision, the Warsaw Local Government Appeal Board invoked the purpose of the special act, i.e. protection of jobs in Poland. If the decision becomes legally binding, foreign companies with employees in Poland will be able to apply for subsidies within 30 days from the cancellation of the state of epidemic emergency or the state of epidemic.

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